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As part of National Apprenticeship Week, the Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship hub was asked by the Skills Funding Agency to invite a number of their Apprentice Ambassadors to join the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, for an informal lunch reception for apprentices from across England at the Terrace Pavilion, House of Commons.

Apprentices Lauren Greenwood and Alice Castree who are both completing an Advanced Level Business and Administration apprenticeship attended on the day.

Following the announcement that the Government is committed to 3 million high quality apprenticeships by 2020, the aim of the event was for the Minister to meet 100 apprentices at the House of Commons from across a wide range of local communities, undertaking a variety of different apprenticeships, and to hear about their experiences. A total of 170 apprentices and 40 employers attended and it was a great opportunity for apprentices to talk to the Minister and to network with other apprentices. All apprentices attending were asked if they would be willing to address the audience, of which 10 apprentices from a wide range of sectors spoke about their experiences, how they came to be an apprentice and the successes and challenges they have faced during their apprenticeships.

The Minister highlighted how apprenticeships are key to social mobility – as well as the perfect platform for providing the jobs, security and prosperity the country needs. The event was a recognition of the esteem in which apprenticeships are held as the Minister addressed the importance of independent careers advice, including Apprentice Ambassadors, being invited into secondary schools to help raise the profile of apprenticeships, in general, to school leavers, showing that A Levels and University are not the only Further Education option and that apprenticeships should not be seen as a lesser route.

Lauren Greenwood who is studying an Apprenticeship in Advanced Level Business and Administration said "After the event, we all had the chance to take a tour of the House of Commons and House of Lords, which was as exciting enough on its own! The whole day was a great opportunity from an individual point of view and also as an opportunity to showcase the Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Hub Ambassador Network".

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